Transperia Group, Inc.
Transformational Experiences That Drive Business Results

Archive for the ‘Innovation’ Category

Creativity vs. Innovation

Saturday, September 10th, 2011

There is a difference between having an original, creative idea and truly being innovative. The two are often assumed, incorrectly, to be synonymous. There are many people, companies and organizations that have (or have had) an original, creative idea and assumed, by default, that they were “Innovators.” Not necessarily the case.

AOL gave America access to the Internet.  Microsoft made it possible for the average person to have an affordable, productive PC.  MySpace ushered in the era of social media.  They all had great, new, creative ideas that made a substantial impact on the world.  But where are they now?  I’m not suggesting these companies have nothing left to offer, or can’t eventually regain some of their original, creative greatness.  What is clear is that they have all been eclipsed by others in their respective fields that understood the importance of reinvention and true innovation.

It’s one thing to have a creative – even innovative – idea, but true Innovators continue to reinvent, design, develop and create new ideas and ways of doing things; the others often hang on to their “original” idea and try to replicate it in perpetuity. A true Innovator does not desire to hang on to one idea or way of doing things, regardless of how cool, amazing or groundbreaking it was. True Innovators are continually driven to bring about change – and change the world in the process.

The Power of Artistic Collaboration

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

As an artist and creative professional, I believe so strongly in the power of collaboration.  I’ve learned through experience that there is so much more potential and creative horsepower when the right group of people come together to create something beautiful, effective or important.

I now find myself moving away from projects that require me to be a creative “lone ranger.”  If I can’t do the project in the context of the community of my trusted partners and creative associates, I’ll sometimes decline the project.  Even if I’m confident in my own abilities, I know that the end result will be so much better if there is more than one creative mind in the mix.

I don’t know if you’ve seen this, but I was both moved and inspired by it.  The power of art and collaboration is truly amazing (even when you can’t see or stand next to the people with whom you’re collaborating).

This was apparently recorded one track at a time, with the producers using minimal equipment and moving from country to country, finding local artists and layering each instrument and part upon the last. The end result is an international collaboration that is both raw and beautiful.

At my core, I think of myself as an artist. It’s stuff like this that makes me so thankful for the arts and for the people whose talents eclipse mine.

Hot 5: Filling the Creative Tank

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

WaterdropAnyone in the “creative business” understands the importance of inspiration.

If you’re one of those people who is a prolific, never-ending wellspring of creative ideas, good for you. You’re rare.

For the rest of us who have to crank out creative ideas day after day, there are times when the well can begin to run dry. I’ve found that, for me, in order to keep the innovative and creative ideas flowing, I have to make a commitment to fill my creative tank on a regular basis. If I don’t, I inevitably find myself lacking in the flow of new ideas.

Here are five ways to help fill that creative tank. I’m sure there are many others (and I’d love to hear your thoughts in the “comments” section), but here is a handful to start with:

1. Absorb Stuff That You Simply Enjoy: When I buy a new book, go to a movie, see a play or buy a new album, I often limit myself to the types of things that I think I might be able to use in upcoming projects. I’m searching for elements I can pillage for another application.

I’m trying more and more to simply drink in the kinds of movies, music, theatre, etc. that I enjoy—that fill me up. I may not find a killer song to use in a video, or an inspirational clip to use in my next event, but it stimulates my general creativity—and that’s what drives innovation for me.

2. Create a Coffee Group: Find other Creatives in your area and get together on a regular basis to share ideas. I often meet with other musicians, artists & producers to talk about what is currently exciting us. The more diversity in the group’s creative disciplines, the better. It’s amazingly stimulating.

3. Exercise: I know this sounds simplistic, but the more I exercise, the sharper my mind works. I also tend to get great, new ideas when I’m working out. And try exercising without the iPod for a change. If you allow your mind to be uncluttered for a few minutes, you’ll be surprised what starts to happen.

4. Cross-Train: If you are a little stuck in your discipline of choice, try learning something new that is totally unrelated. Want to become a better musician, take up Tae Kwon Do. Hoping to increase your Photoshop skills, learn to play guitar. Then look for ways that the new skills or discipline might have a crossover application to your other area. It’s uncanny.

5. Do the Opposite: As George Costanza taught us, sometimes doing the opposite can be the best strategy. If you’ve always successfully done things one way, try approaching your next project by looking at it from the opposite perspective. It can be very enlightening.

There’s a starter. So, what do you do for inspiration? Please, please add your ideas, and let’s keep the conversation going.

Sony Walkman Project

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

Talk about a cool experience. Sony has taken a risk in promoting their latest Walkman media player.

Their website says, “The Walkman Project is an incredible musical collaboration that lets you make and share music with other people around the world.”

Sony has created a vehicle where people can collaborate on a piece of music together—each one adding his/her own part. You can sing, play or mix tracks. You then upload your contribution. Little by little, the musical piece grows, morphs and changes as each part is added. A very, very cool idea.

To promote this collaborative project (and their product), Sony created a video highlighting how even the most seemingly insignificant contribution makes an impact on the whole.

It’s brilliant.

The video features 130 musicians, all gathered in one place, performing a musical composition where each musician plays only one note at a time. The piece moves by beautifully as you watch each musician playing their one note, but the whole coming together fluidly and flawlessly.

It’s amazing.

I can’t imagine the immensity of the challenge of wrangling 240 microphones, handling 130 sensitive artist egos and juggling the logistics of such an endeavor.

Watch the video. It will blow your mind (at least it did mine).

Sony could have just done a regular product launch for their new Walkman. But instead, they created an experience for people to jump into, and also created a cool experience for the 130 musicians who played on the video, and then shared that experience with us.

Sony reminds us of the need to break the mold on our status quo events, projects or media. How about you? Is it business as usual, or are you creating an experience that will involve and impact your audience and not soon be forgotten?

My Fellow Americans…Vote for Me

Thursday, August 28th, 2008

Okay, I know this is going to come across a little narcissistic, but when I saw this, I couldn’t help but laugh.  I never thought I’d get into politics, but hey, you never know where the path of life might lead you.

–Your humble servant, Mark Bennardo.

Seriously, though, I think this is brilliant. And, you can try it yourself (it’s fun and it’s free–see below for link).

The real brilliance is in how the company PalTalk has apparently created this viral marketing tool to promote their instant message & video chat business. What a great way to create and use something that is fun, engaging and highly shareable to create some buzz for your product.

Also notice the subtle, almost subliminal product placement for PalTalk in the video.  Fantastic.

Well done, PalTalk!

PS: To try it out and throw your own hat in the ring, go here!

Windows, Seinfeld & Image Control

Thursday, August 21st, 2008

Jerry SeinfeldMicrosoft has recently teamed with Jerry Seinfeld to create an ad campaign for Windows, reports Fox News.

While Microsoft owns the PC market in America (a reported 90%), it seems the popular, “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” adds have not only been effective at raising Apple’s market share (up 32% in the last year—and climbing), but have done even more to effectively damage Microsoft’s already stodgy image.

Microsoft is hoping to create a younger, “hipper” image with ads featuring the likes of Jerry Seinfeld (who, incidentally is 54 years old—so much for “young”) and others to the tune of $300 million.

It’s ironic that in the early days of the Seinfeld show, Jerry had a series of Macs on the desk in his apartment. I guess money talks—(his take in this deal is a reported $10 million)—“not that there’s anything wrong with that”.

Here’s the deal, though: Microsoft has a product that provides solid basics (arguably). The Mac, on the other hand, has always focused on creating an amazing user experience. Over the years, Apple’s customers have become cult-like and crazy-loyal because of the experience Apple has given them.

Clever advertising is helpful, but what Microsoft still doesn’t seem to understand is that their image is flawed, not because of their advertising, but because of their products.

My old friend, John Carlson, recently made the following comment, which I think bears repeating:

“Perhaps if Microsoft put $300 million into
• Better software engineers
• Better product development and
• Innovation, with the idea of actually making a better product,
they wouldn’t have to work so hard to compete with Apple.”

Well said, John.

The user’s experience is what ultimately makes the difference. Not the level of your celebrity.

Help Me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re My Only Hope.

Friday, August 1st, 2008

Ever since I saw Star Wars as a kid, I wanted to be a hologram. Or, I wanted to be projected as a hologram. Princess Leia’s desperate plea for help to Obi-Wan was too cool back in 1977.

Well, it looks like the wait just might be over. I came across this technology and thought it was absolutely amazing. It seems a company in the U.K. called Musion has been doing hologram projection and communication for a while now.

Not only that, but there can be two-way communication using this technology. It also appears the subject can be:
• Live
• Pre-recorded
• Graphic or
• Virtual

If you haven’t seen it yet, you’ve got to check out this video (click here) where they used holograms on-stage at a live event for Cisco. The live on-stage presenter actually had an interactive conversation with the “hologram guys”—live.

The implications for special events, virtual presentation, advertising and entertainment are staggering. The only limitations are the imaginations of the people using this technology.

Amazing.

There are several other clips of how Musion has used their technology on their site. I especially liked the clip from the FIFPro XI World Player Awards. Click around their site a bit and see if it doesn’t knock your socks off. I know it did mine.

In The Beginning…

Tuesday, July 15th, 2008

Earth from SpaceOur world changes at a rate that’s no longer possible to measure or adequately describe (“speed of sound”, “speed of light”, etc. don’t seem to cut it anymore). And it’s becoming more and more difficult to distinguish our message and products in a culture/marketplace/business environment that is constantly in flux.

The competition for our attention and affections is getting tougher by the minute. More and more, what is required to differentiate a product, event or service is the experience that we create for people.

It used to be that our offerings would stand out if they were of excellent quality, were highly creative, or unique in some way. No longer. Today’s economy requires us to go beyond these expected qualities and provide an experience for people that transcends the status quo, engages them personally, excites their senses and becomes, in a word, memorable.

The Art of Experience is an ongoing dialogue in how to create experiences for our audiences (customers, employees, conference attendees…) that will not only engage them, but also change and transform them, and bring about the outcomes we’re hoping for.

Transperia Group (the sponsor of this forum) gets its very name from the concept of creating “transformational experiences” to drive the results we are after.

So, what creates a “transformational experience”? What does it take to move beyond the status quo and enter the realm of “experience”? That’s what we’re hoping to discuss in this blog. Some categories that we’ll cover are:

  • Creativity
  • Innovation
  • Communication
  • Technology

The topics may vary, but in general, we’re looking for things that will help us move beyond the normal and mundane, and will inspire us in the art of creating effective experiences.

Of course, we want this to be a multi-way conversation. Please join in. If you have new ideas to add, great. If you disagree with opinions stated here, great. If you want to share your experiences with “experience”, great. We’d love to have you join in the fun.

Thanks for dropping by. Here’s to some stimulating conversation.

Mark T. Bennardo
Transperia Group, Inc.